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5 Year Plans

Yesterday I met up with some of my friends who happened to be passing through Dubai. As we sat in Costa Café at the Festival City Mall and nibbled on our snacks (must mention here that the 10% City Bank discount plus the 5% Expo2020 discount was a welcome surprise) my friends began asking me about my life in Dubai and where I saw myself in the future. Then, the inevitable question surfaced.

‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?’ they asked.

Why do people always want and in most cases *expect* you to plan out the little details of your life right down to the last detail? When asked that question, I feel like I am almost *required* to concoct a false future. If I answer with “I just hope I’m alive and well” then I’m called boring and uninteresting. If I say, however, I hope to be (for instance) the Principal of a school, doing magnificent things, then I’m ‘incredible’ and everyone applauds my dreams. How realistic is that though? I’m not saying we shouldn’t dream big. Dreams are what make us thrive. It just sucks that we’re expected to have such a handle on those dreams 5 years before they happen.

5 years seems so far away that I always imagine my life will be so different from the present. So much can change in 5 years. People change. Is where I am now, where I thought I would be 5 years ago? Nope. Is my career playing out to what I dreamed it would be? Again, no. Well guess what? In my books, that’s absolutely fine! I cannot live my life being a slave to the ideas of my future that I promised to myself when I was 18 years old. When I was 18, I was a different person. I’m a different person today.

It is incredibly important to think about the future. If we don’t, we’re at risk of becoming too “comfortable.” But remember Goals are not glue. And they aren’t permanent. They change.

Lately, I have felt like I have let my 18 year-old self down because a lot of what I’ve dreamed of or planned for still remains unaccomplished. But, I’m happy and to me, that’s above and beyond any desire I’ve ever had.

So, coming back to the question I’ve been evading.  Where *do* I see myself 5 years from now?

For one thing I’ll be 34 years old (34!!!!!! Hopefully by then I’ll feel and behave like a grown up) and other than that fact, I have absolutely no idea. And for the first time in my life, I’m content with that.

I just hope I’m happy, I hope I’m surrounded by the people I love and doing the kind of work that I love. Everything else is neither here nor there.





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